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tsoden
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211 Lbs.
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5'10"
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tsoden

The gift of Health

So I celebrated my 38th birthday on the 25th... and the gift from my wife was a Gift of health - a subscription to MyBootCamp at my local gym.  My wife was quite nervous delivering this gift to me as she was not sure how I would react.  But when I read her birthday card, explaining her gift, I was very Very touched - I amost broke down with tears of Joy.  Here is a woman that see's the hard work I put into the gym, but rarely tells me about it.  However she see's the area that need work and just goes ahead and does something to really help me with it.


I start this class on July 2nd, and at the dinner table last night my wife and I had the following discussion: 


We were talking more and more about this bootcamp program and why she chose it for me as a birthday gift.  She had originally looked into a personal trainer for me, but after some reasearch and delibration, she decided that was not the right path for me.  Besides at $4700 for 6 months, this was something that we really could not afford.  


Apparently the PT she was looking into originally is the husband of the instructor for this class.  Anyway, it was the PT's idea in recommending this as a solid option for me since she told him that I am making great progress in most areas, just having a hard time shedding the midsection fat.  She said at the table "You already have a great chest, arms and Legs... just trouble with the midsection."  


So you can imagine how much I was grinning when she said that bro... made me puff my chest out even more :)




While she was at the gym yesterday, she ran into the boot camp instructor.  while chatting with her, she asked why I was a no show last night, and my wife told her that I was starting on July 2nd.  She smiled and looked at my wife and said "excellent" in that evil demonic tone.  



I think I am in for a beating of a lifetime, but what else can I say, but...






BRING IT ON!






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New Body or work in progress

So last night as I was getting ready for bed, and noticed a stack of pants I had pulled out of the closet months ago...what were they doing in the corner and not hung up in the closet?  These pants were ones that I could not even button up.  I knew I was getting bigger through lifting and no longer the size 32 I once was, but I also realize I have put on some significant fat since I started lifting almost 2 years ago.  I miss my 32 waist.... these days I am lucky if I can get into a 34 or 36 pant. 


Over the past few months, I noticed this trend with my wife as well... we both agree that we need to shed fat, and yet neither one of us has stepped up to the plate. 


So last night, sitting on the edge of the bed, shirtless, my wife looks over at me... She knows now that I really like weight lifting... and that I have put on some mass, but I was taken back by her next comment:


"Honey, you got manboobs"


....my heart dropped...manboobs... all this time of trying to build my chest and now I am told I have manboobs.  I flexed my "pecs"....manboobs...


Sigh...


She then followed up her comment by saying:


"You know, I'm kinda jealous" 


"Of what" I asked


"Well, you would probably fit a perky B-cup..."  This coming from one who is sporting a set of 36 DD's I guess I can understand her comment, but still... I don't want all my hard work to be known as manboobs.


I flexed my chest again, and noticed the extra nipple fat...


So this brought on the discussion (here we go again) of weight loss.  As usual my wife is all game, after all we both were highly successful at Weight watchers in a former life...so why should today be any different?  A lot of events occured in the past few years that put the "I no longer care" in our food habits.  we have had these weight loss discussions a few times over the past couple months, but usually the end with the deep sighs and the excuses:


"What if we buy all this food and dont eat the meals we prep or don't feel like them on a particular day?"


"What if we have invites that conflict with our weight loss efforts?"


"How can we maintain this with opposite working schedules?"


Also, we work with a rather picky eater in the family - my son.  Sure... I love him to death, but he is a picky eater.  At his age, we have reverted to preparing a seperate meal for him as he just does not want to eat our meals....over time I want this to change, but Rome was not built in a day. 


All this talk and no action...I got caught in this trap before.  I know my wife wants to lose weight just as much as me, but I have had enough of the excuses and obviously feel that I need to start this on my own.  I originally told myself I would not worry about cutting until after I completed my StrongLifts 5x5 plan, but I am thinking that I need to start cutting NOW.  My motivation for this is to look good for an upcoming vacation.  This November I plan to head to a beach for a couple weeks.  So I have downloaded "myfitnesspal" to my smart phone.  I set a goal of dropping to 185 (a former goal) and for some reason, MyFitnessPal has determined that I need to be at under 1800 calories a day to acheive this goal.  I am going to follow this suggestion and aim for a 1lb loss a week.  I certainly do not want to sacrifice the hard earned muscle I have built over the past couple years. 


The next step will be to get more cardio back in my routine.  The trouble is, I enjoy spinning, and yet with squatting 3 times a week, my legs are gonna be hating me... but I know Spinning burns mad calories.  So to this end I will add it back into my routine 2 times a week on my off days.


This is my plan and I will stick with it come hell or high water!

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its the little things that bring you joy

I started my lifting Journey back in 2010.  I was very new to all of this, not knowing how to start or where to go...but after some research I drafted up a full body workout plan to get my lifting journey off the ground.  I also had sought the free advice from the Personal Trainners at my gym where possible.  Later I discovered the O35 forum at bb.com and continued to ask many questions to get myself on track.  I stuck to my plan and started to see some great results after about 8 months.  Realizing I wanted more, I decided it was time to step it up and take my training to the next level by looking into a split routine.  I found a split plan on bb.com and put my old plan into retirement hoping that the new plan would help to build more mass. 


As I continued on my journey, and participating daily in the 035 forum, I met "Frank".  A true gentleman here at bb.com who lives 1000's of miles away from me.  We started chatting through emails sharing our interests with lifting and eventually evolved our chats into messenger chats.  As I was getting to know Frank, it became clear that he was seriously interested in lifting.  Having put a lot of time and effort into shedding a decent amount of body fat, Frank was keen to acheive a tonned look. We talked a lot about this, and eventually I suggested that I could try to help him out where possible.  Frank understood that I was still very green to bodybuilding, and I made it clear that I was no professional, however if I could help him get on the right path, perhaps he would be able to take the challenge and run with it.  To help him learn the ropes, I pulled out my original full body workout plan out of retirement and emailed it to him explaining the ins and outs and how he could gauge his progress.  Over the next couple months I was assisting Frank, answering his questions and ensuring he stuck out the plan to the letter.  Frank went an extra step and started to send me his workout journals, and from these I was able to determine how he was progressing or if he was completing the plan as directed.   During this time I was seeing changes in his weight selection and reps.  A real improvement.


Shortly there after I received an email from him asking if I had received his gift.  Not knowing what he was talking about I went back through my emails and recalled reading a heartfelt thank you from him for all the assistance I had provided.  This alone was touching, but what I had overlooked was that this was not just an everyday thank you note.  Frank went further to express his gratitude by including a bb.com gift certificate!  I was shocked and floored and could not beleive this.  I had never met Frank in person, but he told me that this was just a way for him to thank me for helping to get his fitness in order.  From reading his email, I never realized how much of an influence I was on him to help get him back on track.  I showed this to my wife and we both were shocked!


So Frank and I kept communicating, sharing our success stories and me providing pointers where I could.  He informed me that he was ready to move to the next level and had hired on a personal training to push him to the next level.  At first I was quite sad to hear this... mainly because I was not sure what that would mean with our new found friendship... thinking this would be the end of it.  But Frank had no intention of just dropping me as a friend.  He simple needed more challenge in his workout as his body was changing rapidly and my little workout plan was proving to no longer be sufficient.


Shortly after this announcement... our workout chats went from me giving him tips to him giving me tips... It became clear that we were pretty much at the same level now with our workouts.  He later informed me that he was planning a trip to the east side including NYC and then a venture to Niagara Falls Canada.  Considering he would be "near by" (still a couple hundred Kilometers), Frank threw a carrot out to me wondering how I would feel if he took a side trip to meet me in my home city.  He told me he'd understand if I was too intimidated or even scared to do this... and I'd be lying if I said I was not scared.  However, I decided that this could be a wonderful experience, as I have never done this sort of thing before as I had never met anyone from the internet in real life before. 


As time grew closer, I became more nervous and anxious.  Because I did not know what to expect, I originally planned to have a couple workouts with Fank and maybe meet for lunch, but that was it. 


Frank arrived last Thursday, and when we met for the first time and shook hands all my anxiety and nervousness went wayside.  Plans changed for the better and I spent as much time as I could with Frank during his visit.  Not only did we tackle a couple workouts in such a short time (a Spin class, followed by Chest and Triceps - yes I had DOMS for THREE DAYS AFTER), but we met for lunch and dinner and I even gave him a $.50 tour of the city.  Frank expressed his gratitude and generosity, with gifts from his home land, even providing a little something for my wife and son, to whom he has never met!


As for Franks gym progress.... he was all business in the gym and was taking every punishment I could throw at him.  He challenge me in may ways as well as I have never experience DOMS this long before.  In terms of phyiques, all I could say is WOW.  I was amazed at what he has accomplished in such a short time.  At the end of lunch on the following day, I was sad to have to bid farewell to my new found friend.  The experience of meeting him in person was truely amazing... and something I will remember and hope to do again.  

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Is the soreness worth it?

So I wake up at 5am this morning, like I normally do... back sore (nothing new here), arms sore (from yesterdays workout)...and wander into the washroom to get ready for work.  It's my day off from the gym today, as I have some intense workouts planned for the rest of the week.  Noticing the obitape on the counter I take a few measurements to see where I am at.  To my dismay, I seem to be shrinking... all around EXCEPT my waist.


DEEP SIGH... I really don't get it.  I bust my ass off in the gym, and I feel the DOMS (which I realize is no indication of progress) and yet... I am not growing, or at least this is what the tape is telling me.  Maybe its the Orbitape I am using as for some reason a tailors tape reads differently... or maybe I am just fooling myself. 


Looking in the mirror i am trying to convince myself that I am growing, but lighting can either be your friend or your foe.  And today, after flexing in the mirror, it is apparent that the lighting is my foe - I'm not impressed.  I do I think I am looking better, or bigger, but why is it that the tape tells a different story?  And to top things off, I think I am getting tendonitis in my right arm....great...just great.

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Random stuff

Sometimes I thin I am taking part in the movie GroundHog day.... what I witness daily in gym at 6am reminds me so much of that movie, it's uncanny.  Typically, I see the same crowd, the same people, all doing the the EXACT SAME THING - EVERYDAY.  I don't get it.  I am certainly not a professional athlete or even close to being a coach, but what I do know is that being repetitive on the same body parts on a daily basis will only take you so far.


Several cases I have witnessed recently:


Case 1:  Overweight older gentlemen - There are a couple of these guys at my gym.  They are diligent to make an appearance on a daily basis and for that I give them a BIG kudos - they took that first step.  Unfortuantely, it all goes downhill from there.  A typical workout for these guys: 20 minute snail pace on a treadmill not even breaking a sweat, followed by 40 minutes of cable machines"lifts" (still not breaking a sweat), then right off to the sauna.  Perhaps they have medical conditions restricting themselves, but then I wonder, if you are not sweating it out, are you really making the most of your gym time?


Case 2: Arms and Abs dude - A few of these guys are quite common at my gym.  These are the ones who choose to curl in the squat rack.  Their typical routine is basically:  cardio for 25 minutes, followed by abs (either with or withou machines), an intense biceps and triceps routine, with an optional set of lower back pull downs tossed in just for fun.  Maybe these guys know something I don't. But, in general I can only imagine how much further these guys could be if they actually put as much focus on all body parts as they do with their arms and abs - a serious missed opportunity.


Case 3:  The teen noob - a couple younger guys have started making appearances at 6am...(could be older.. who knows).  It is hard to NOT notice is the obvious noob mistakes during their workouts however.  Yeah, we have all been there, they typically have a plan that covers everything, and they seem to do something different every day, but what doesnt change is the obvious lack of understanding of weight selection.  These guys are accidents waiting for a place to happen.  They typically use weights, which are too heavy / advance for the movements they are working through accompanied by demonstrating the worst form possible.


Case 4:  Mr Momentum - The guys typically have a decent plan in place as well, but just like the teen noob, they tend to use weights that are to heavy for their movements.  Case in point is when the subject uses pure momentum to get through their sets.  The movements of the exercise are so fast and so rapid, I hardly think any real muscle work is being accomplished. 


As a final note, I used to belelive heavier weight meant bigger results which in turn means bigger muscle gains.  Over time, I realize this is simply not the case.  what matters is the mind muscle connection, form and the QUALITY of the the rep itself.  Taking time using a challenging weight and focusing on the mind muscle connection gives me DOMS every time.  I realize DOMS is by no means a method or inidcator of progress, but to me if I have DOMS the next day, I feel that I have done enough to challenge that muscle group and know that it will keep growing.

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Curling in the Squat Rack

After a couple years of reading the bb.com forums,  I used to laugh at anyone complaining about people curling in the squat rack.  For a newbie, I could not understand what the big deal was - after all, most gym equipment can serve more than one function, so it was easy for me to consider for a moment how silly and petty these outbursts could be...


Over the past month or so, however, I am realizing what all the fuss is all about...


Leg days take a special effort from me.  I have to admit, legs have never been a top priority of mine and normally I find it difficult to put my full effort into a leg workout.  I am not sure why this is the case, but sometimes legs will be skipped in a given week.  So when I take the time to really focus on legs, I want to hit them HARD from all angles and definately add squats into the mix.  And yet, the one and only squat rack in my gym is ALWAYS occupied, even at 6 am where the gym is virtually empty. 


I am not hardcore to the point that I have to use a squat rack to do my squats... I mean if a Hack Squat machine or even a working smith machine (this gym has one that is always under repair) was available I would use those...and I would totally understand if the squat rack was being used for... wait for it... SQUATS.... but no...this is RARELY the case.


There are two regulars at my gym and I see them doing the same thing... over and over again..focusing on upper body but mainly guns.  Both of these dudes make a point to set up camp in the squat rack.   but never for legs.  Oh no, instead of using the preacher bench, or the dozens of dumbells, or the rack or barbells, they must set up camp for their entire gym session in the squat rack... to do curls, tricep extenstions and over head presses.


Maybe I am missing something here.  Is there really an advantage to curling with an Olympic bar over dumbells and fixed barbells?  I ask this because one of the offenders discovered that the squat rack was occuppied so he went over and used a bench press, for his curls.  I have never seen him exceed a couple of 10 lb plates on the olympic bar.  And yet, not even 10 feet behind him is a rack of fixed barbells with weights up to 120 lbs!  I mean, the last time I looked, adding a couple tens to an Olympic bar did not exceed 120 lbs.  So what gives???

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Back to my original Journey... scratch my last entry

So in my last post i reported how super excited I was to have an opportunity to workout with an aspiring bodybuilder - one that I respected from bb.com based on his story and the journey he has been on so far.  He has the passion and drive (and arrogance) to go far in this sport, however, after two workouts with him, it soon became clear, to him (and not so much with me), that this relationship was not to be and would simply not work out.  It turns out that I simply was out of his league, something I already knew going into this in the first place.


After the second workout, which was much more intense than the first, I was under the impression that I / we had a great thing going here.  It was my impression that we were starting to become friends, sharing stories and such, and having some great bodybuilding chats.  Knowing that this person was more experienced than myself, I was eagerly picking up any tidbits of info to assist my progress where possible, but perhaps I was too eager.


Shortly after our second workout, communication stalled.  Any messages I sent were left unanswered, so I left it slide for a few days.  Having befriended him on facebook, I awknowledged his accomplishments and success stories he posted, to which I would receive a simple simple thanks... however any other questions were left unaddressed.  Something just did not seem right.  So I left the issue for a few more days.


Eventually I left the individual a message and soon realized what went wrong.  It became apparent that I WAS too eager about this "relationship", which in turn was a complete turn off to him.  But the real issue was that our goals were not the same and this was holding him back.  He then stated that he was much better suited to training solo where he could put more intensity in his workouts (later boasting on facebook how he "killed" a particular bodypart, etc.) 


Needless to say, I was quite sad by the end result of all of this, because I really did not know what went wrong.  I have since put together several secnarios and possibilities, but they are all speculation.  Deep down I feel there was more to this communication break down than stated above.  So I wished him well and asked if we could sit over coffee again one day.... a question that again was left unanswered... but his silence has already given me the answer I sought out.

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New Friends / improved Journey

So last night I met up with a fellow Bodybuilding.com member who happens to be a memeber at my gym for the first time.  Sent him a message and we met for coffee and a workout.  I got to say... training with a bodybuilder who is planning to compete is quite the experience. 


I left the workout satisfied... not sore though.  I was expecting to be full of DOMS today... but such is not the case.  We did his chest workout which consisted of:


Incline DB bench (4 sets of 10 to 12 reps)


Incline BB bench (4 sets of 12 reps)


Incline Dumbell flies (4 sets)


Cable cross overs (4 sets or 12 reps)


and machine bench (4 sets of 12 reps)


This workout differs from mine a fair bit.  I tend to do three exercises for chest and i was using a lower rep range in a pyramid scheme.  This guy prefers a higher rep range with a couple drop sets in the final 2 sets per exercise.  I went lighter during this workout to try and get better control of the weight as well as to really go as low as possible to get the maximum stretch.  Funny, how the first 8-9 reps were dead easy, but the last 3 were super hard.  I figure that the next time I try this, I will certainly go heavier.  Especially with incline BB bench as well as cabel cross overs.


He has offered to workout with me again soon, So I just might take him up on his offer.

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The Mind - Muscle connection

I realized earlier this week something I have been lacking in my chest workout routine.... The mind / muscle connection.  In the past, my focus with training chest was always the heavier the weight, the bigger you will get.


Now, I am not convinced that this is the proper way of thinking.  As I was increasing my weight, I still was not seeing much results with my chest.  Sure I have only been training for a little over a year now, but most other body parts seem to show this, where as I don't feel my chest has kept up.


So while lying on the bench, I took the opportunity to drop the weight, and really focus on using my chest to get the weight up - hammer out 10 reps of slow but constant movement.  It was at this point when I really started feeling the muscle tearing... the burn... what everyone was talking about.  This got me excited, and I repeated a couple more sets in this fashion.  I ended my bench routine with my heavy set, and it was at that point where the mind / muscle connection simply was not present.  It was too difficult to focus on the pecs... when you are struggling to get 3 reps out of your max.  At this point, the only thought crossing my mind was "Just get the EFFIN weight up you weak Fawk!!!!"  And so struggling and straining to press my heavy set made me realize that although I am working on strength, I simply am not getting the muscle building benefit from slow focused sets with a medium weight.


Working through the rest of my chest routine (incline db press and incline db flys), I managed to apply the same mind / muscle connection as I had with flat bench press.  I gotta say, chest day was last Tuesday, and today being Thursday, DOMS is still HEAVILY present in my chest - that painful but wonderful feeling that reminds you of all that muscle tearing that took place - signifying an amazing workout.


I spend a decent amount of time watching and learning from such youtube channels as:


TwinMuscleWorkout - http://www.youtube.com/user/twinmuscleworkout?feature=g-u-u


BigJ'sExtreemFitness - http://www.youtube.com/user/twinmuscleworkout?feature=g-u-u


CampbellFitness - http://www.youtube.com/user/CampbellFitness?feature=g-u-u


But the one where I have been really taking in all the tips and tricks is Daren Steen's FatlossLifestyle - http://www.youtube.com/user/fatlosslifestyle?feature=g-u-u

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Protein Flavours - Part 2 - working with what you got

In my last blog entry I made the following comment regarding Body Fortress 100% whey Strawberry flavour:


Lastly....Body Fortress Strawberry. This brought back vile memories of the Medicine I used to take as a chid. Seriously WTF were they thinking? This one is possibly the WORST flavour to date...words cannot describe the taste... and it STICKS WITH YOU ALL DAY!


Well, since I am stuck with a tub of this s**t I might as well make the most of it.  After a bit of experimentation, I came up with the following shake recipe... please don't ask me for Macros on this shake... because I honestly don't know:



  • 1 scoop body Fortress 100% Whey Strawberry Flavour (blech)
  • 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese (I am sure low fat cottage cheese would work too)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 single serving container of Danon Creamy Raspberry yogurt
  • a couple cubes of Ice (optional)

Blend this up in a blender until smooth.  The taste of this shake actually takes me back to when I used to enjoy the Strawberry shakes from McDonalds as a kid.  The chemical taste is pretty gone!  Granted, due to the amount of dairy in this shake, I am convinced the caloric count will be high, but the protein count should also be quite high too.


Enjoy!


 

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Protein flavours

So this will be a quick entry today...

I am no expert when it comes to consuming whey shakes. In fact, I am very much an amateur with Protein blends, and tend to focus on the Protein content first, Price second, and flavour third.

So why is it... that these companies can really mess up the taste of this stuff?

I have ben using Body Forterss for a while, mainly because it's cheap and tends to have more protein compared to others I have seen per serving, especially if I buy the Whey Isolate. So initially, I started with Vanilla. How ANYONE can screw up vanilla is beyond me... but needless to say, every time I consumed it, I felt ill. It was a CHALLENGE to feel I didn't waste my money on this, and was keeping a finger to my mouth to ensure I would not spew it all out....but I was determined to finish this tub and swear to never buy vanilla again.

So then, I switched to Body Fortress Chocolate. Not bad. No gag reflex here, and it reminded me of Chocolate Milk. I think I can handle this quite well.....but then after many months of this, i really was craving something other than chocolate. In fact, I suppose this stuff did help in other ways. I seriously had NO CRAVING for chocolate bars.

Walmart had Body Fortress on sale late last fall, so I stocked up - a couple tubs of chocolate and a new flavour...Cookies and Cream... Hummm not bad... paletteable... but after 2 weeks, I was reacting with it like I did with Vanillia. You know, you begin to question yourself as to why you consume this stuff when you are doing everything in your power to avoid contact with your tounge. Needless to say, I will not be buying cookies and cream again.

Last month, Muscletech 6 Star went on sale... (which ended up the same price as my regualr Body Fortress), so I thought I would give their Triple Chocolate a whirl. It was not bad. but after a week of use, I was discovering just how overly sweet it was....and the after taste... it was as if someone tossed some perfume in the mix. Blech.... If I prepared my shake with Milk, well, it was so much better, but I have been trying to cut down on milk consumption... so no thanks.

Lastly....Body Fortress Strawberry. This brought back vile memories of the Medicine I used to take as a chid. Seriously WTF were they thinking? This one is possibly the WORST flavour to date...words cannot describe the taste... and it STICKS WITH YOU ALL DAY! Looks like I will go back to Chocolate after all!!!!

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Am I bodybuilding or am I Lifting?

Bodybuilding is a strange "sport"....

Everything a bodybuilder does to achieve the ideal body... always in pain, the injuries, the $$$, the food....

I started a thread in the Over 35 Misc forum back in December, stating I was going on my first Cut, but was not sure how long it would last. I have been trying to track my Macros using Fatsecret.com, keeping a caloric limit to 2200 cals a day. Thing is, over the past few weeks, I have not seen changes in my weight. In fact, my body fat percentage has increased from 18% to 20.5% The past couple weeks, I have been struggling to meet my protein needs, and my carb levels seem too high as well. It has been exceptionally frustrating, but It's all about the learning, and trying to figure it all out...

The thing is, maybe I am going at this all wrong.

I realize now after training for a year, that I have found a new love. The love for lifting weights. Does that mean I am a bodybuilder? I am not certain...since to truely "bodybuild" training is only 20% of the equation. The rest is all nutrition.

So maybe, just maybe, I am just going about this all wrong.

Sure... I want a beach ready body for next summer (what man doesn't...seriously), but, is stressing over this "cut" affecting what I REALLY love? Is this slowing down my progress in the gym? I mean, most bodybuilders probably take winter as the time to add muscle mass. and then hit a "cut phase" to trim down for the summer months. So why am I trying to cut now?

And, even dropping my calories, the strange thing is, I am still increasing some of my lifts...though this is not the case for all lifts. I feel I have stalled with some (chest for example is sitting at 185lbs), but that is not really concerning me. i am taking the approach that so long as I feel good when the workout is done, I have done it right. Is that the right attitude?

So maybe, I am not really bodybuilding then. Maybe I just enjoy lifting weights and really like seeing the results of hard earned muscle.

I doubt that I will look like a pro... but I never intended to look that way. All I want is to feel and look good. Am I on the right path?

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Merry Christmas everyone!

It's that time of year... Time for lots of good food, great company, awesome gifts... getting fat... wait.. wut??

I have been attempting to shed bodyfat over the past couple weeks... at first things were going well, but I have noticed that the 1 lb a week loss I was aiming for is simply stalled. My estimated 2500 cals a day seems too high as in the past couple days I have gained weight again - so its back to the drawining board - drop another 300 cals a day and see where it takes me.

Christmas (and holidays in general) provides many challenges for keeping fitness goals in check. I always found holidays provided the excuse to ease back on the eating plan and indulge in the foods I normally shy away from - but the problem is, we have TOO MANY HOLIDAYS.

This Christmas... I am commiting myself to the gym (nothing new here), but I will lassoo my temptations so that I can continue to focus on my cutting efforts. This does not mean I will not enjoy a sweet or two, but I will force it into my plan where I see fit and not feel I have missed out.

I recently lost my training buddy... this was my own doing, as things at work were not going great, forcing me to give up my lunch time gym initiative. This does not mean I have stopped going to the gym - far from it - but rather, I have been forced to working out at night. I am hoping - with changes being made to my working hours, to eventually start into morning workouts instead - before heading to the office, but I will have to evaluate how things at work progress before I do this. What really sucks in losing my training buddy, is that I feel I have lost the critical part of the formula forcing me to work harder in the gym than normal. Maybe this will only be a temporary feeling...I strive to give it my all each workout session, but once again I will have to re-adapt to flying solo.

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Losing the flab

I stepped on the scale this morning... I dont really trust that tempered piece of glass laying on the floor (yeah my scale is glass). 194.5 lbs. Hummm... seemed to be down a bit.

Since starting with bodybuilding, I have struggled to figure out the formula to lose the body fat. People here talk about cutting and bulking... and I understand these concepts, but for a guy who went through a few years under a Weight Watchers (WW) plan to lose simple weight (fat or muscle), I actually find this whole "cutting" concept difficult to grasp.

Maybe I am reading too much into this... or maybe I am not reading enough. I was directed to the "formula" to calculate my Macros... and being rather lousy at Math (Sad, but true), the formula did nothing, but only to confuse me. The one piece of the formula i struggle to find, but necessary is to know your bodyfat percentage. My gym does not use Calipers... they use the Electronic Scale.

So LIKE WW, I realize the importance of keeping within a calorie range in order to lose weight. But, unlike WW, I cannopt simply count calories for any type of food without the risk of losing muscle mass. This is where the whole confusion comes into play. WW had a simple formula... you fill in a questionaire and VOILA - you are given a number of "points" (calories) to eat each day (this is mainly based off your BMI from what I gather). Back then, (maybe not so much now though) WW did not care what you eat... so long as you stay in your points range. With bodybuilding i know this cannot happen - if you eat **** you will look like **** - plain and simple - and THAT i do understand. The big challenge is to know how many calories I need to consume to be in a safe calorie deficit.

So I am meeting a personal trainner at my Gym today to discuss nutrition. This "free" 90 minute consultation is, in reality, nothing more than a sales pitch. My wallet will remain sealed, but I do hope to get some tip and tricks from him either way. I do go through the forums here for this information, but I often feel like I am searching for a needle in a haystack.

Since starting with bodybuilding, I have slowly made changes to alter my diet to work with the principles of building muscle. I eat healthy, and though I have a sweet tooth, I have started to give up on sweets realizing they only contribute to the spare tire. I have already told my wife - No chocolates in my christmas stocking this year - well maybe chocolate whey powder!

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A new level of sorness amoung other things

God I am sore... SO SORE!!!! I MUST be working out hard to justify this new level of soreness. Did legs last monday... great leg workout , but no records beat. I did managed to get squats and leg press in the same workout - something I normally can't do...now its Thursday, and I am STILL walking like a penguin. To top it all off, I conqured back on Tuesday, and man... my LATS....HELLO LATS!!! They too have been speaking to me the past couple day... wow....

I am hoping to get chest in today along with triceps - I mean, the rest of me is sore, why not complete the whole package? :P

So a couple interesting things happened to me this week as well:

1. I received a very surprising gift from a bb.com member (you know who you are). We been messaging and chatting for the past couple months, and I have been sharing our success stories. This gift came as a TOTAL surprise to me. I am extremely grateful for this persons generosity. The funny thing is, I am a very humble person. I never realized just how much of an impact I made to this member. I am no super hero, just and average joe who has found a love for lifting...I recognise that I am still a beginner, but love to talk and share lifting stories, success and even MY failures with members. Sharing my enthusiasm is something that makes me feel good... and I am so happy I can help out where I can.

2. Be THANKFUL when others help you out. I was in an email exchange the other night with a friend from another forum. I seeking tips to help my chest workout, but the email exchange went wierd. It started off fine, but as I was asking questions, I felt and realized that it turned into a sales pitch. See I did not know this person was an actual Personal Trainer...It never came up and (we have not met in person). Turns out he was trying to figure out if I was soak him for information...taking his generosity for granted. This hit me hard as I never would I do such a thing, but it had me think....do I come off this way when I ask for help? I have always appreciated the generosity of those willing to give advice. Being a beginner though, it really is hard to reciprocate. In the end the message was cleared up.. and I explained that I was not attempting to take his help for granted. I apologized and moved on. We still talk, but in future I will be more careful of the questions I ask.

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